Musical: A Full Life

Vladimir's Lament
A Full Life tells the love story of Laura, a beautiful young woman, and Vladimir, a ladies' man. They work in the computer graphics department of a New York investment bank in 1999 (the height of the dot com frenzy). Laura attempts to copy the culture of greed she sees at the top of the management tree, and descends deep into the darker realms of the human spirit. Only Vladimir offers her a way forward from the guilt of the deaths she helps to cause, and perhaps the possibility of real happiness.
This unusual story springs from the fruitful tradition of the American musical. The music is full of hooks, those catchy melodic phrases that linger in the mind. Everyone will want to sing these songs. The songs interweave with the narrative, deepening the story and heightening the emotion. The bittersweet resolution is told entirely in song.
Book and lyrics written by Samuel Buckley, music composed by John Charles.

The first public staged reading of A Full Life, as part of Emerging Artists Theater's "Notes From A Page" series, took place in New York on March 2012.

     A Full Life excerpt
     Read the lyrics and listen to the music of "Is This Love?" and "Screwed".

Musical: Burgess the Bushranger

Richard Burgess
This is a work in progress. Richard Burgess, born Richard Hill in London in 1829, led a gang that murdered five miners in New Zealand in 1864. When he was 17 Burgess was transported for theft to Australia where he became a bushranger. After initial success, he was imprisoned and treated viciously for several years. He then went to New Zealand to rob miners in the newly discovered goldfields. While having great loyalty to his criminal associates, and a tender heart for the ladies, he became more and more ruthless because of the many floggings he received in jail. He resolved to avoid imprisonment by killing all of his victims so they could not testify against him. His loyalty to his criminal friends was such that in his final trial he confessed to the mass murder to try and save the others from the rope.
     Burgess the Bushranger excerpt
Drama Suite: The Southern Frontier

This is another work in progress. The Southern Frontier is a suite of eight plays depicting the first fifty years the clash of cultures - when Europeans flood a country populated by "savages". But, unlike their other colonies, the Maoris nearly defeat the "civilized" Europeans. They show great intelligence and skill in opposing the Europeans, and defeat the might of the British Empire many times. The constant arrival of new settlers and the ravages of imported disease erode the power and strength of the Maori. Ultimately they are defeated by their own sense of honor, and the duplicity and ruthless treachery of the pakeha (white man).
Each story is self-contained and covers different aspects of human nature, culture clash, and the growth of a new nation. Each story explores the motives, and the sense of justice, honor and responsibility of the main figures, arriving at a climax where their aspirations are achieved – or destroyed.

Subtitled "The Life and Times of a 21st Century Couple in New York" – In eight scenes the play explores the politics of the 99% and how they make do, the politics of love and sex, and why a couple who have been living together for ten years may consider that marriage may be preferable.
     Chronicles excerpt
Drama: Savage Love

A British sea captain with an American first mate arrives in the north of New Zealand in the 1850s. The American is pragmatic and sees a future paradise there with a canny Maori woman. The captain meets a beautiful Maori maiden with a mystical attachment to nature. But he carelessly insults the pride of a local tribal chief, and discovers his civilized ways cannot match the ferocity and cunning of the "primitive" savage.
     Savage Love excerpt
Drama: The Lost Ruby Mine

Treasure Map
An older Scotsman discovers rubies in the back country of New Zealand's South Island in the 1890s. Looking for a partner he can trust, he reaches out to the son of a childhood friend. The son brings in a mining expert, who is actually a criminal confederate. The son is immediately confronted with the dilemma of whom he should trust and be loyal to, the family friend, or his partner in crime, who may know of an event in the son's past life that could get the son hanged.
     The Lost Ruby Mine excerpt
One Act: Mother Daughter

Master Deirdre is the obsessively dedicated leader of a martial arts school. Her only daughter, Kirsten, aged 16, rebels against Master Deirdre's strict discipline. They fight, and Kirsten is killed when Master Deirdre loses control and uses her special blow known as "the striking serpent".
Four years later Master Deirdre's partner, King, who seeks solace in drink, reveals to a sympathetic student that Kirsten had a twin sister, Diana. Even at that time King feared the effect of Master Deirdre's rigid beliefs, and told her Diana had died at birth. King secretly takes Diana to be raised by another martial arts master, who insists that King not interfere or even visit his daughter until she has "come of age".
Diana suddenly appears, having heard by chance that Master Deirdre killed her sister, but not knowing Master Deirdre is the mother of them both. Her challenge ends in a double tragedy.
     Mother Daughter excerpt
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